Sunday, 27 October 2019

Total Commitment

Scripture: Book of Ruth 1 v 16-17: "And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me."

Roman 6 v 13: "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."

In many areas of life we need to make a firm commitment :-  To study well at school; to be a faithful spouse; to succeed in a career; to serve the Lord our God wholeheartedly; to perform our work ethic to a high standard. Our character is revealed by how well we keep our commitments.

Ruth, by her own will and desire after the death of her husband, chose to commit her life to following Naomi, her mother-in-law, to her own land, Israel. She left her land, idols and religion to serve the one true God, and stated "where you go, I go, where you die, I die".  Naomi had been a wonderful role model and mentor to Ruth, but she was surprised at Ruth's fervent desire to follow her to her homeland.

We need to commit our lives to Jesus the same way. All or nothing. Turn our backs on sin, corruption, lies and all evil to follow the righteous King of Kings into everlasting life. Too many people "rent a place at the altar" to re-commit their lives to Jesus every few weeks when they live their lives selfishly and 'in the flesh'.  The Bible calls these carnal Christians.

Total commitment means that you see Jesus for who He is - the only begotten Son of God, who came to Earth to save sinners. He laid down His own life to break the power of death for every human being. He committed His all as a ransom to redeem us all. What should our response be to such a sacrifice?

We should be willing to lay our selfish lives aside and become part of God's eternal plan to save the world. It means giving up habits and behaviour that the sinful world call fun and games. The sinful world watch us critically to expose any bad behaviour that justifies them not following Jesus. They mock Christians who live as they do.

In the realities of life on Earth today things can be precarious or even dangerous no matter where you live.  The climate has changed, not only as far as the weather is concerned, but political climates have shifted too.  

Britain cannot simply leave the EU and submit to the democratic will of the taxpayers.  It's Parliament has been subjected to ridicule for trying that.  Brexit so dominates the news that a separate channel on TV for "news other than Brexit" had to be opened.  "How to get Brexit Done" should become a reality game show until the winner has the solution.

Jokes aside, all over the world there is unrest.  Desperate people will take any risk to relocate to a country which is called 'a Nanny state', like Britain or the USA, where there are human rights and safety, good, free health care and proper education.  This week 39 of these sad and desperate people died in a container in England, trying to be smuggled into a country that has adopted closer scrutiny of those seeking entry.

God has a better way, a greater Kingdom, with solid promises of care and protection.  All through the Bible we see His care and provision for those who are committed to Him.  He brought the Hebrews out of slavery into the Promised Land.  

He saved Daniel by closing the mouths of the lions.  He rescued Shadrack, Meshech and Abednego by joining them in the fiery furnace so that not a single blister, nor even the smell of smoke was on them.  He saves all those who call on the name of Jesus and obey His will.

So we need to show the world the power of Jesus to change and transform us into a new creation of people that live holy, moral and dignified lives; forsaking sin and evil practices to honour the Lamb of God who saved them. If Jesus is real to us we can make Him real to sinners by the pure light that shines through us. 

If we continue to smoke cigarettes or marijuana; get drunk; sleep around or indulge in pagan religious activities disguised as Christianity then sinners will remain unmoved by our witness for the life of Jesus and His salvation. Our work for Jesus is to be a true pure witness that draws sinners to Golgotha where the Blood of Jesus cleanses everyone of all sin.   

We are almost at the end of another year so let us make a commitment to move from carnal, prayerless, pointless religion to a deeper spiritual life in unity with God and the Body of Christ.  Brothers and Sisters let us be of one mind and purpose to carry out the Great Commission to preach the gospel to every one.

Prayer: Father God, as Jesus placed Himself in Your hands on this Earth; in Gethsemane; in the Judgment Hall, on Golgotha, and in Paradise awaiting His resurrection, so do I commit myself into Your hands, into Your kingdom forever.  In Jesus' name. Amen.